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ESSAYS, Political, Economical and Philosophical. Volume 1. by Benjamin Rumford

Part 2 out of 7

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and others, who were employed in carrying them on.

In treating this subject it will however be necessary to go back
a little, and give a more particular account of the internal
governments of this establishment; and first of all I must observe,
that the government of the Military Work-house, as it is called,
is quite distinct from the government of the institution for the
poor; the Work-house being merely a manufactory, like any other
manufactory, supported upon its own private capital; which capital
has no connection whatever with any fund destined for the poor.
It is under the sole direction of its own particular governors
and overseers, and is carried on at the sole risk of the owner.
The institution for the poor, on the other hand, is merely an
institution of charity, joined to a general direction of the police,
as far as it relates to paupers. The committee, or deputation,
as it is called, which is at the head of this institution, has
the sole direction of all funds destined for the relief of the
poor in Munich, and the distribution of alms. This deputation
has likewise the direction of the kitchen, and bake-house, which
are established in the Military Work-house; and of the details
relative to the feeding of the poor; for it is from the funds
destined for the relief of the poor that these expences are
defrayed: the deputation is also in connection with the Military
Work-house relative to the clothing of the poor, and the
distribution of rewards to those of them who particularly
distinguished themselves by their good behaviour and their
industry, but this is merely a mercantile correspondence.
The deputation has no right to interfere in any way whatever in
the internal management of this establishment, considered as a
manufactory. In this respect it is to all intents and purposes a
perfectly distinct and independent establishment.
But notwithstanding this, the two establishments are so dependent
on each other in many respects, that neither of them could well
subsist alone.

The Military Work-house being principally designed as a
manufactory for clothing the army, its capital, which at first
consisted in about 150,000 florins, but which has since increased
to above 250,000 florins, was advanced by the military chest,
and hence it is, that it was called the Military Work-house,
and put under the direction of the council of war.

For the internal management of the establishment, a special
commission was named, consisting of, one counsellor of war,
of the department of military economy, or of the clothing of the
army,--one captain, which last is inspector of the house, and has
apartments in it, where he lodges; --and the store-keeper of the
magazine of military clothing.

These commissioners, who have the magazine of military clothing
at the same time under their direction, have, under my immediate
superintendence, the sole government and direction of this
establishment;--of all the inferior officers;--servants;--
manufacturers;--and workmen, belonging to it; and of all mercantile
operations;--contracts;-- purchases;--sales;, etc. And it is
with these commissioners that the regiments correspond, in order
to be furnished with clothing, and other necessaries; and into
their hands they pay the amount of the different articles

The cash belonging to this establishment is placed in a chest
furnished with three separate locks, of one of which each of the
commissioners are jointly, and severally, answerable for the
contents of the chest.

These commissioners hold their sessions regularly twice a week,
or oftener if circumstances require it, in a room in the Military
Work-house destined for that purpose, where the correspondence,
and all accounts and documents belonging to the establishment,
and other records, are kept; and where the secretary of the
commission constantly attends.

When very large contracts are made for the purchase of raw
materials, particularly when they are made with foreigners,
the conditions are first submitted by the commissioners to the
council of war for their approbation; but in all concerns of less
moment, and particularly in all the current business of the
establishment;--in the ordinary purchases,--sales,--and other
mercantile transactions; the commissioners act by their own
immediate authority: but all the transactions of the
most particular account of all sales, and purchases, and other
receipts and expenditures being kept; and inventories being taken
every year, of all raw materials;--manufactures upon hand;--and
other effects, belonging to the establishment; and an annual
account of profit and loss, regularly made out; all peculation,
and other abuses, are most effectually prevented.

The steward, or store-keeper of raw materials, as he is called,
has the care of all raw materials, and of all finished
manufactures destined for private sale. The former are kept in
magazines, or store-rooms, of which he alone has the keys,--
the latter are kept in rooms set apart as a store,--or shop,--
where they are exposed for public inspection, and sale.
To prevent abuses in the sales of these manufactures, their prices,
which are determined upon a calculation of what they cost, and a
certain per cent. added for the profits of the house, are marked
upon the goods, and are never altered; and a regular account is
kept of all, even of the most inconsiderable articles sold,
in which not only the commodity, with its quality, quantity,
an price, is specified; but the name of the purchaser, and the day
of the month when the purchase was made, are mentioned.

All articles of clothing destined for the army which are made up
in the house; as well as all goods in the piece, destined for
military clothing, are lodged in the Military Magazine; which is
situated at some distance from the Military Work-house; and is
under the care and inspection of the Military store-keeper.

From this Military Magazine, which may be considered as an
appendix to the Military Work-house, and is in fact under the
same direction, the regiments are supplied with every article of
their clothing. But in order that the army accounts may be more
simple, and more easily checked, and that the total annual
expence of each regiment may be more readily ascertained, the
regiments pay, at certain fixed prices, for all the articles they
receive from the Military Magazine, and charge such expenditures
in the annual account which they send in to the War Office.

The order observed with regard to the delivery of the raw
materials by the store-keeper or steward of the Military
Work-house to those employed in manufacturing them, is as

In the manufactures of wool, for instance, he delivers to the
master-clothier a certain quantity, commonly 100 pounds, of wool,
of a certain quality and description; taken from a certain
division, or bin, in the Magazine; bearing a certain number;
in order to its being sorted. And as a register is kept of the
wool that is put into these bins from time to time, and as the
lots of wool are always kept separate, it is perfectly easy at
any time to determine when,--and where,--and from whom, the wool
delivered to the sorted was purchased; and what was paid for it;
and consequently, to trace the wool from the stock where it was
grown, to the cloth into which it was formed; and even to the
person who wore it. And similar arrangements are adopted with
regard to all other raw materials used in the various

The advantages arising from this arrangement are too obvious to
require being particularly mentioned. It not only prevents
numberless abuses on the part of those employed in the various
manufactures, but affords a ready method of detecting any frauds
on the part of those from whom the raw materials are purchased.

The wool received by the master-clothier is by him delivered to
the wool-sorters to be sorted. To prevent frauds on the part of
the wool-sorters, not only all the wool-sorters work in the same
room, under the immediate inspection of the master wool-sorter,
but a certain quantity of each lot of wool being sorted in the
presence of some one of the public officers belonging to the
house, it is seen by the experiment how much per cent. is lost
by separation of dirt and filth in sorting; and the quantity of
sorted wool of the different qualities, which the sorter is
obliged to deliver for each HUNDRED POUNDS weight of wool
received from the magazine, is from hence determined.

The great secret of the woollen manufactory is in the sorting of
the wool, and if this is not particularly attended to; that is to
say, if the different kinds of wool of various qualities which
each fleece naturally contains, are not carefully separated;
and if each kind of wool is not employed for that purpose,
and FOR THAT ALONE, for which it is best calculated, no woollen
manufactory can possibly subsist with advantages.

Each fleece is commonly separated into five or six different
parcels of wool, of different qualities, by the sorters in the
Military Work-house; and of these parcels, some are employed for
warp;-- others for wool;--others for combing;--and that which is
very coarse and indifferent, for coarse mittens for the
peasants;--for the lists of broad cloths, etc.

The wool, when sorted, is delivered back by the master-clothier
to the steward, who now places it in the sorted-wool magazines,
where it is kept in separate bins, according to its different
qualities and destinations, till it is delivered out to be
manufactured. As these bins are all numbered, and as the quality
and destination of the wool which is lodged in each bin is always
the same, it is sufficient in describing the wool afterwards as
it passes through the hands of the different manufacturers,
merely to mention ITS NUMBER; that is to say, the number of the
bin the sorted-wool magazine from whence it was taken.

As a more particular account of these various manipulations,
and the means used to prevent frauds, may not only be interesting
to all who are curious in these matters, but may also be of real
use to such as may engage in similar undertakings, I shall take
the liberty to enlarge a little upon this subject.

From the magazine of sorted wool, the master-clothier receives
this sorted wool again, in order to its being wolfed,--greased,
--carded;--and spun, under his inspection, and then delivered
into the store-room of woollen yarn. As woollen yarn he receives
it again, and delivers it to the cloth-weaver. --The cloth-weaver
returns it in cloth to the steward.--The steward delivers it to
the fuller;--the fuller to the cloth-shearer;--the cloth-shearer
to the cloth-presser;--and the cloth-presser to the steward;--
and by this last it is delivered into the Military Magazine,
if destined for the army; if not, it is placed in the shop for sale.
The master-clothier is answerable for all the sorted wool he
receives, till he delivers it to the clerk of the wool-spinners;
and all his accounts are settled with the steward once a week.--
The clerk of the spinners is answerable for the carded and combed
wool he receives from the master-clothier, till it is delivered
in yarn in the store-room; and his accounts are likewise settled
with the master-clothier, and with the clerk of the store-room,
(who is called the clerk of the control,) once a week.
The spinners wages are paid by the clerk of the control, upon the
spin-ticket, signed by the clerk of the spinners; in which ticket,
the quantity, and quality of the yarn spun being specified,
together with the name of the spinner, the weekly delivery of
yarn by the clerk of the spinners into the store-room, must
answer to the spin-tickets received and paid by the clerk of the
control. More effectually to prevent frauds, each delivery of
yarn to the clerk of the spinners is bound up in a separate
bundle, to which is attached an abstract of the spin-ticket,
in which abstract is specified, the name of the spinner;--the date
of the delivery;--the number of the spin-ticket;--and the
quantity and quality of the yarn. This arrangement not only
facilitates the settlement of the weekly account between the
clerk of the spinners and the clerk of the control, when the
former makes his weekly delivery of yarn into the store-room,
but renders it easy also to detect any frauds committed by the

The wages of the spinners are regulated by the fineness of the
yarn; that is, by the number of skains, or rather knots, which
they spin from the pound of wool. Each knot is composed of 100
threads, and each thread, or turn of the reel, is two Bavarian
yards in length; and to prevent frauds in reeling, clock-reels,
proved and sealed, are furnished by the establishment to all the
spinners. It is possible, however, notwithstanding this
precaution, for the spinners to commit frauds, by binding up
knots containing a smaller number of threads than 100.--It is
true they have little temptation to do so, for as their wages are
in fact paid by the WEIGHT of the yarn delivered, and the number
of knots serving merely to determine the price BY THE POUND which
they have a right to receive, and advantages they can derive from
frauds committed in reeling are very trifling indeed.
But trifling as they are, such frauds would no doubt sometimes be
committed, were it not known that it is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for
them to escape detection.

Not only the clerk of the spinners examines the yarn when he
receives it, and counts the threads in any of the knots which
appear to be too small, but the name of the spinner, with a note
of the quantity of knots, accompanies the yarn into the store-room,
as was before observed, and from thence to the spooler, by whom
it is wound off; any frauds committed in reeling cannot fail to
be brought home to the spinner.

The bundles of carded wool delivered to the spinners, though they
are called pounds, are not exact pounds. They contain each as
much more than a pound, as is necessary, allowing for wastage in
spinning, in order that the yarn when spun may weigh a pound.
If the yarn is found to be wanting in weight, a proportional
deduction is made from the wages of the spinner; which deduction,
to prevent frauds, amounts to a trifle more than the value of the
yarn which is wanting.

Frauds in weaving are prevented by delivering the yarn to the
weavers by weight, and receiving the cloth by weight from the loom.
In the other operations of the manufactures, such as fulling,
shearing, pressing, etc. no frauds are to be apprehended.

Similar precautions are taken to prevent frauds in the linen;--
cotton;--and other manufactures carried on in the house; and so
effectual are the means adopted, that during more than five years
since the establishment was instituted, no one fraud of the least
consequence has been discovered; the evident impossibility of
escaping detection in those practices, having prevented the

Through the above-mentioned details may be sufficient to give
some idea of the general order which reigns in every part of this
extensive establishment; yet, as success in an undertaking of
this kind depends essentially on carrying on the business in all
its various branches in the most methodical manner, and rendering
one operation a check upon the other, as well as in making the
persons employed absolutely responsible for all frauds and
neglects committed in their various departments, I shall either
add in the Appendix, or publish separately, a full account of the
internal details of the various trades and manufactures carried
on in the Military Work-house, and copies of all the different
tickets,--returns,--tables,--accounts, etc. made use of in
carrying on the business of this establishment.

Though these accounts will render this work more voluminous than
I could have wished, yet, as such details can hardly fail to be
very useful to those, who, either upon a larger, or smaller
scale, may engage in similar undertakings, I have determined to
publish them.

To show that the regulations observed in carrying on the various
trades and manufactures in the Military Work-house are good,
it will, I flatter myself, be quite sufficient to refer to the
flourishing state of the establishment;--to its growing
reputation;--to its extensive connections, which reach even to
foreign countries;--to the punctuality with which all its
engagements are fulfilled;-- to its unimpeached credit;--and to
its growing wealth.

Notwithstanding all the disadvantages under which it laboured in
its infant state, the net profits arising from it during the six
years it has existed, amount to above 100,000 florins; after the
expences of every kind,--salaries,--wages,--repairs, etc. have
been deducted; in consequence of the augmentation of the amount
of the orders received and executed the last year, did not fall
much short of HALF A MILLION of florins.

It may be proper to observe, that, not the whole army of the
Elector, but only the fifteen Bavarian regiments, are furnished
with clothing from the Military Work-house at Munich. The troops
of the Palatinate, and those of the Duchies of Juliers and Bergen,
receive their clothing from a similar establishment at Manheim.

The Military Work-house at Manheim was indeed erected several
months before that at Munich; but as it is not immediately
connected with any institution for the poor,--as the poor are not
fed in it,--and as it was my first attempt, or coup d'essai,--
it is, in many respects, inferior in its internal arrangements
to that at Munich. I have therefore chosen this last for the
subject of my descriptions; and would propose it as a model for
imitation, in preference to the other.

As both these establishments owe their existence to myself,
and as they both remain under my immediate superintendence,
it may very naturally be asked, why that at Manheim has not been
put upon the same footing with that at Munich?--My answer to
this question would be, that a variety of circumstances, too
foreign to my present subject to be explained here, prevented the
establishment of the Military Work-house at Manheim being carried
to that perfection which I could have wished[12].

But it is time that I should return to the poor of Munich;
for whose comfort and happiness I laboured with so much pleasure,
and whose history will ever remain by far the most interesting part
of this publication.


A further account of the poor who were brought together in the
house of industry:--and of the interesting change which was
produced in their manners and dispositions.
Various proofs that the means used for making them industrious,
comfortable, and happy, were successful.

The awkwardness of these poor creatures, when they were first
taken from the streets as beggars, and put to work, may easily
conceived; but the facility with which they acquired address in
the various manufactures in which they were employed, was very
remarkable, and much exceeded my expectation. But what was quite
surprising, and at the same time interesting in the highest
degree, was the apparent and rapid change which was produced in
their manners,--in their general behaviour,--and even in the very
air of their countenances, upon being a little accustomed to
their new situations. The kind usage they met with, and the
comforts they enjoyed, seemed to have softened their hearts, and
awakened in them sentiments as new and surprising to themselves,
as they were interesting to those about them.

The melancholy gloom of misery, and air of uneasiness and
embarrassment, disappeared by little and little from their
countenances, and were succeeded by a timid dawn of cheerfulness,
rendered most exquisitely interesting by a certain mixture of
silent gratitude, which no language can describe.

In the infancy of this establishment, when these poor creatures
were first brought together, I used very frequently to visit
them,--to speak kindly to them,--and to encourage them;--and I
seldom passed through the halls where they were at work, without
being a witness to the most moving scenes.

Objects, formerly the most miserable and wretched, whom I had
seen for years as beggars in the streets;-young women,--perhaps
the unhappy victims of seduction, who, having lost their
reputation, and being turned adrift in the world, without a
friend and without a home, were reduced to the necessity of
begging, to sustain a miserable existence, now recognized me as
their benefactor; and, with tears dropping fast from their
cheeks, continued their work in the most expressive silence.

If they were asked, what the matter was with them? their answer
was, ("nichts") "nothing;" accompanied by a look of affectionate
regard and gratitude, so exquisitely touching as frequently to
draw tears from the most insensible of the bystanders.

It was not possible to be mistaken with respect to the real state
of the minds of these poor people; every thing about them showed
that they were deeply affected with the kindness shown them;--
and that their hearts were really softened, appeared, not only
from their unaffected expressions of gratitude, but also from the
effusions of their affectionate regard for those who were dear
to them. In short, never did I witness such affecting scenes as
passed between some of these poor people and their children.

It was mentioned above that the children were separated from the
grown persons. This was the case at first; but as soon as order
was thoroughly established in every part of the house, and the
poor people had acquired a certain degree of address in their
work, and evidently took pleasure in it, as many of those who had
children expressed an earnest desire to have them near them,
permission was granted for that purpose; and the spinning halls,
by degrees, were filled with the most interesting little groups
of industrious families, who vied with each other in diligence
and address; and who displayed a scene, at once the most busy,
and the most cheerful, that can be imagined.

An industrious family is ever a pleasing object; but there was
something peculiarly interesting and affecting in the groups of
these poor people. Whether it was, that those who saw them
compared their present situation with the state of misery and
wretchedness from which they had been taken; --or whether it was
the joy and exultation which were expressed in the countenances
of the poor parents in contemplating their children all busily
employed about them;--or the air of self-satisfaction which these
little urchins put on, at the consciousness of their own dexterity,
while they pursued their work with redoubled diligence upon being
observed, that rendered the scene so singularly interesting,--
I know not; but certain it is, that few strangers who visited the
establishment, came out of these halls without being much affected.

Many humane and well-disposed persons are often withheld from
giving alms, on account of the bad character of beggars in general;
but this circumstance, though it ought undoubtedly to be taken
into consideration in determining the mode of administering our
charitable assistance, should certainly not prevent our
interesting ourselves in the fate of these unhappy beings.
On the contrary, it ought to be an additional incitement to us
to relieve them;--for nothing is more certain, than that their
crimes are very often the EFFECTS, not the CAUSES of their
misery; and when this is the case, by removing the cause, the
effects will cease.

Nothing is more extraordinary and unaccountable, than the
inconsistency of mankind in every thing; even in the practice of
that divine virtue benevolence; and most of our mistakes arise
more from indolence and from inattention, than from any thing else.
The busy part of mankind are too intent upon their own private
pursuits; and those who have leisure, are too averse from giving
themselves trouble, to investigate a subject but too generally
considered as tiresome and uninteresting. But if it be true, that
we are really happy only in proportion as we ought to be so;--
that is, in proportion as we are instrumental in promoting the
happiness of others; no study surely can be so interesting,
as that which teaches us how most effectually to contribute to
the well-being of our fellow-creatures.

If LOVE be blind, SELF-LOVE is certainly very short-sighted;
and without the assistance of reason and reflection, is but a
bad guide in the pursuit of happiness.

Those who take pleasure in depreciating all the social virtues
have represented pity as a mere selfish passion; and there are
some circumstances which appear to justify this opinion.
It is certain that the misfortunes of others affect us, not in
proportion to their greatness, but in proportion to their
nearness to ourselves; or to the chances that they may reach us
in our turns. A rich man is infinitely more affected at the
misfortune of his neighbour, who, by the failure of a banker with
whom he had trusted the greater part of his fortune;--by an
unlucky run at play,--or by other losses, is reduced to a state
of affluence, to the necessity of laying down his carriage;--
leaving the town;--and retiring into the country upon a few
hundreds a-year;--than by the total ruin of the industrious
tradesman over the way, who is dragged to prison, and his
numerous family of young and helpless children left to starve.

But however selfish pity may be, BENEVOLENCE certainly springs
from a more noble origin. It is a good-natured,--generous
sentiment, which does not require being put to the torture in
order to be stimulated to action. And it is this sentiment,
not pity, or compassion, which I would wish to excite.

Pity is always attended with pain; and if our sufferings at being
witnesses of the distresses of others, sometimes force us to
relieve them, we can neither have much merit, nor any lasting
satisfaction, from such involuntary acts of charity; but the
enjoyments which result from acts of genuine benevolence are as
lasting as they are exquisitely delightful; and the more they
contribute to that inward peace of mind and self-approbation,
which alone constitute real happiness. This is the "soul's calm
sun-shine, and the heart-felt joy," which is virtue's prize.

To induce mankind to engage in any enterprise, it is necessary,
first, to show that success will be attended with real advantage;
and secondly, that is may be obtained without much difficulty.
The rewards attendant upon acts of benevolence have so often been
described and celebrated, in every country and in every language,
that it would be presumption in me to suppose I could add any
thing new upon a subject already discussed by the greatest
masters of rhetoric, and embellished with all the irresistible
charms of eloquence; but as EXAMPLE OF SUCCESS are sometimes more
efficacious in stimulating mankind to action, than the most
splendid reasonings and admonitions, it is upon my SUCCESS in the
enterprise of which I have undertaken to give an account, that my
hopes of engaging others to follow such an example are chiefly
founded; and hence it is, that I so often return to that part of
my subject, and insist with so much perseverance upon the
pleasure which this success afforded me. I am aware that I
expose myself to being suspected of ostentation, particularly by
those who are not able to enter fully into my situation and
feelings; but neither this, nor any other consideration, shall
prevent me from treating the subject in such a manner as may
appear best adapted to render my labours of public utility.

Why should I not mention even the marks of affectionate regard
and respect which I received from the poor people for those
happiness I interested myself, and the testimonies of the public
esteem with which I was honored?--Will it be reckoned vanity,
if I mention the concern which the Poor of Munich expressed in so
affecting a manner when I was dangerously ill?--that they went
publicly in a body in procession to the cathedral church, where
they had divine service performed, and put up public prayers for
my recovery?--that four years afterwards, on hearing that I was
again dangerously ill at Naples. they, of their own accord, set
apart an hour each evening, after they had finished their work in
the Military Work-house, to pray for me?

Will it be thought improper to mention the affecting reception I
met with from them, at my first visit to the Military Work-house
upon my return to Munich last summer, after an absence of fifteen
months; a scene which drew tears from all who were present?--and
must I refute myself the satisfaction of describing the fete I
gave them in return, in the English Garden, at which 1800 poor
people of all ages, and above 30,000 of the inhabitants of
Munich, assisted? and all this pleasure I must forego, merely
that I may not be thought vain and ostentatious?--Be it so
then;-- but I would just beg leave to call the reader's attention
to my feelings upon the occasion; and then let him ask himself,
if any earthly reward can possibly be supposed greater;--any
enjoyments more complete, than those I received. Let him figure
to himself, if he can, my situation, sick in bed, worn out by
intense application, and dying, as every body thought, a martyr
in the cause to which I had devoted myself;--let him imagine,
I say, my feelings, upon hearing the confused noise of the prayers
of a multitude of people, who were passing by in the streets,
upon being told, that it was the Poor of Munich, many hundreds in
number, who were going in procession to the church to put up
public prayers for me:--public prayers for me!--for a private
person!--a stranger!--a protestant!--I believe it is the first
instance of the kind that ever happened;--and I dare venture to
affirm that no proof could well be stronger than this, that the
measures adopted for making these poor people happy, were really
successful;--and let it be remembered, that this fact is what I
am most anxious to make appear, IN THE CLEAREST AND MOST


Of the means used for the relief of those poor persons who were
not beggars.
Of the large sums of money distributed to the poor in alms.
Of the means used for rendering those who received alms industrious.
Of the general utility of the house of industry to the poor,
and the distressed of all denominations.
Of public kitchens for feeding the poor, united with establishments
for giving them employment; and of the great advantages which
would be derived from forming them in every parish.
Of the manner in which the poor of Munich are lodged.

In giving an account of the Poor of Munich. I have hitherto
confined myself chiefly to one class of them,--the beggars; but I
shall now proceed to mention briefly the measures which were
adopted to relieve others, who never were beggars, from those
distresses and difficulties in which poverty and the inability to
provide the necessaries of life had involved them.

An establishment for the Poor should not only provide for the
relief and support of those who are most forward and clamorous in
calling out for assistance;--humanity and justice require that
peculiar attention should be paid to those who are bashful and
silent.--To those, who, in addition to all the distresses arising
from poverty and want, feel, that is still more insupportable to
their unfortunate and hopeless situation.

All those who stood in need of assistance were invited and
encouraged to make known their wants to the committee placed at
the head of the institution; and in no case was the necessary
assistance refused.--That this relief was generously bestowed,
will not be doubted by those who are informed that the sums
distributed in alms, IN READY MONEY to the Poor of Munich in FIVE
YEARS, exclusive of the expences incurred in feeding and clothing
them, amounted to above TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND FLORINS[13].

But the sums of money distributed among the Poor in alms was not
the only, and perhaps not the most important assistance that was
and they probably derived more essential advantages from the
fruits of their industry, than from all the charitable donations
they received.

All who were able to earn any thing by their labour, were
furnished with work, and effectual measures taken to excite them
to be industrious.--In fixing the amount of the sums in money,
which they receive weekly upon stated days, care was always taken
to find out how much the person applying for relief was in a
condition to earn, and only just so much was granted, as,
when added to these earnings, would be sufficient to provide the
necessaries of life, or such of them as were not otherwise
furnished by the institution. --But even this precaution would
not alone have been sufficient to have obliged those who were
disposed to be idle, to become industrious; for, with the
assistance of the small allowances which were granted, they might
have found means, by stealing, or other fraudulent practices,
to have subsisted without working, and the sums allowed them would
have only served as an encouragement to idleness.--This evil,
which is always much to be apprehended in establishments for the
Poor, and which is always most fatal in its consequences,
is effectually prevented at Munich by the following simple
arrangement:--A long and narrow slip of paper, upon which is
printed, between parallel lines, in two or more columns, all the
weeks in the year, or rather the month, and the day of the month,
when each week begins, is, in the beginning of every year, given
to each poor perform entitled to receive alms; and the name of
the person,--with the number his name bears in the general list
of the Poor;--the weekly sum granted to him,--and the sum he is
able to earn weekly by labour, are entered in writing at the head
of this list of the weeks.--This paper, which must always be
produced by the poor person as often as he applies for his weekly
allowance of alms, serves to show whether he has, or has not
fulfilled the conditions upon which the allowance was granted him;--
that is to say, whether he has been industrious, and has earned
by his labour, and received, the sum he ought to earn weekly.--
This fact is ascertained in the following manner: when the poor
person frequents the house of industry regularly, or when he
works at home, and delivers regularly at the end of every week,
the produce of the labour he is expected to perform; when he has
thus fulfilled the conditions imposed on him, the column, or
rather parallel, in his paper, (which may be called his
certificate of industry,) answering to the week in question,
is marked with a stamp, kept for that purpose at the Military
Work-house; or, if he should be prevented by illness, or any
other accident, from fulfilling those conditions, in that case,
instead of the stamp, the week must be marked by the signature of
the commissary of the district to which the poor person belongs.--
But, if the certificate be not marked, either by the stamp of the
house of industry, or by the signature of the commissary of the
district, the allowance for the week in question is not issued.

It is easy to be imagined how effectually this arrangement must
operate as a check to idleness.-- But, not satisfied with
discouraging and punishing idleness, we have endeavoured, by all
the means in our power, and more especially by rewards and
honorable distinctions of every kind, to encourage extraordinary
exertions of industry. Such of the Poor who earn more in the
week than the sum imposed on them, are rewarded by extraordinary
presents, in money, or in some useful and valuable article of
clothing; or they are particularly remembered at the next public
distribution of money, which is made twice a year to the Poor,
to assist them in paying their house-rent: and so far is this from
being made a pretext for diminishing their weekly allowance of
alms, that it is rather considered as a reason for augmenting them.

There are great numbers of persons, of various descriptions,
in all places, and particularly in great towns, who, though they
find means just to support life, and have too much feeling ever
to submit to the disgrace of becoming a burthen upon the public,
are yet very unhappy, and consequently objects highly deserving
of the commiseration and friendly aid of the humane and generous.--
it is hardly possible to imagine a situation more truly deplorable
than that of a person born to better prospects, reduced by
unmerited misfortunes to poverty, and doomed to pass his whole
life in one continued and hopeless struggle with want, shame,
and despair.

Any relief which it is possible to afford to distress that
appears under this respectable and most interesting form,
ought surely never to be withheld.--But the greatest care and
precaution are necessary in giving assistance to those who have
been rendered irritable and suspicious by misfortunes, and who
have too much honest pride not to feel themselves degraded by
accepting an obligation they never can hope to repay.

The establishment of the house of industry at Munich has been a
means of affording very essential relief to many distressed
families, and single persons in indigent circumstances, who,
otherwise, most probably never would have received any assistance.
--Many persons of distinguished birth, and particularly widows
and unmarried ladies with very small fortunes, frequently send
privately to this house for raw materials,--flax or wool,
-- which they spin, and return in yarn,--linen for soldiers
shirts, which they make up, etc. and receive in money, (commonly
through the hands of a maid-servant, who is employed as a
messenger upon these occasions,) the amount of the wages at the
ordinary price paid by the manufactory, for the labour performed.

Many a common soldier in the Elector's service wears shirts made
up privately by the delicate hands of persons who were never seen
publicly to be employed in such coarse work;--and many a
comfortable meal has been made in the town of Munich, in private,
by persons accustomed to more sumptuous fare, upon the soup
destined for the Poor, and furnished gratis from the public kitchen
of the house of industry. Many others who stand in need of
assistance, will, in time, I hope, get the better of their pride,
and avail themselves of these advantages.

To render this establishment for the Poor at Munich perfect,
something is still wanting.--The house of industry is too remote
from the center of the town, and many of the Poor live at such a
distance from it, that much time is lost in going and returning.
--It is situated, it is true, nearly in the center of the
district in which most of the Poor inhabit, but still there are
many who do not derive all the advantages from it they otherwise
would do were it adjacent to their dwellings. The only way to
remedy this imperfection would be, to establish several smaller
public kitchens in different parts of the town, with two or three
rooms adjoining to each, where the Poor might work.--They might
then either fetch the raw materials from the principal house of
industry, or be furnished with them by the persons who superintend
those subordinate kitchens; and who might serve at the same time
as stewards and inspectors of the working rooms, under the
direction and control of the officers who are placed at the head
of the general establishment. This arrangement is in
contemplation, and will be put in execution as soon as convenient
houses can be procured and fitted up for the purpose.

In large cities, these public kitchens, and rooms adjoining to
them for working, should be established in every parish; and,
it is scarcely to be conceived how much this arrangement would
contribute to the comfort and contentment of the Poor, and to the
improvement of their morals. These working rooms might be fitted
up with neatness; and even with elegance; and made perfectly
warm, clean, and comfortable, at a very small expence;
and, if nothing were done to disgust the Poor, either by treating
them harshly, or using FORCE to oblige them to frequent these
establishments, they would soon avail themselves of the
advantages held out to them; and the tranquillity they would
enjoy in these peaceful retreats, would, by degrees, calm the
agitation of their minds,--remove their suspicions,--and render
them happy,--grateful, and docile.

Though it might not be possible to provide any other lodgings for
them than the miserable barracks they now occupy, yet, as they
might spend the whole of the day, from morning till late at
night, in these public rooms, and have no occasion to return to
their homes till bed-time, they would not experience much
inconvenience from the badness of the accommodation at their own

Should any be attached with sickness, they might be sent to some
hospital, or rooms be provided for them, as well as for the old
and infirm, adjacent to the public working rooms. Certain hours
might also be set apart for instructing the children, daily, in
reading and writing, in the dining-hall, or in some other room
convenient for that purpose.

The expence of forming such an establishment in every parish
would not be great, in the first outset, and the advantages
derived from it would very soon repay that expence, with interest.
--The Poor might be fed from a public kitchen for LESS THAN HALF
what it would cost them to feed themselves;--they would turn
their industry to better account, by working in a public
establishment, and under proper direction, than by working at
home;--a spirit of emulation would be excited among them,
and they would pass their time more agreeably and cheerfully.--
They would be entirely relieved from the heavy expense of fuel for
cooking; and, in a great measure, from that for heating their
dwellings; and, being seldom at home in the day-time, would want
little more than a place to sleep in; so that the expence of
lodging might be greatly diminished.--It is evident, that all
these saving together would operate very powerfully to lessen the
public expence for the maintenance of the Poor; and, were proper
measures adopted, and pursued with care and perseverance, I am
persuaded the expence would at last be reduced to little or

With regard to the lodgings for the Poor, I am clearly of opinion
that it is in general best, particularly in great towns, that
these should be left for themselves to provide. This they
certainly would like better than being crowded together,
and confined like prisoners in poor-houses and hospitals;
and I really think the difference in the expence would be
inconsiderable; and though they might be less comfortably
accommodated, yet the inconvenience would be amply compensated

In Munich, almost all the Poor provide their own lodgings;
and twice a year have certain allowances in money, to assist them
in paying their rent.--Many among them who are single, have indeed,
no lodgings they can call their own. They go to certain
public-houses to sleep, where they are furnished with what is
called a bed, in a garret, for one creutzer, (equal to about
one-third of a penny,) a-night; and for two creutzers a-night
they get a place in a tolerably good bed in a decent room in a
public-house of more repute.

There are, however, among the Poor, many who are infirm, and not
able to shift for themselves in the public-houses, and have not
families, or near relations, to take care of them. For these,
a particular arrangement has lately been made at Munich. Such of
them as have friends or acquaintances in town with whom they can
lodge, are permitted to do so; but if they cannot find out
lodgings themselves, they have the option, either to be placed in
some private family to be taken care of, or go to a home which
has lately been purchased and fitted up as an hospital for
lodging them[14].

This house is situated in a fine airy situation, on a small
eminence upon the banks of the Isar, and overlooks the whole of
the town;--the plain in which it is situated;--and the river.--
It is neatly built, and has a spacious garden belonging to it.
There are seventeen good rooms in the house; in which it is
supposed about eighty persons may be lodged. These will all be
fed from one kitchen; and such of them who are very infirm, will
have others less infirm placed in the same room with them, to
assist them, and wait upon them.--The cultivation of the garden
will be their amusement, and the produce of it their property.
--They will be furnished with work suitable to their strength;
and for all the labour they perform, will be paid in money, which
will be left at their own disposal.--They will be furnished with
food, medicine, and clothing, gratis; and to those who are not
able to earn any thing by labour, a small sum of money will be
given weekly, to enable them to purchase tobacco, snuff, or any
other article of humble luxury to which they may have been

I could have wished that this asylum had been nearer to the house
of industry. It is indeed not very far from it, perhaps not more
than 400 yards; but still that is too far.--Had it been under the
same roof, or adjoining to it, those who are lodged in it might
have been fed from the public kitchen of the general establishment,
and have been under the immediate inspection of the principal
officers of the house of industry. It would likewise have
rendered the establishment very interesting to those who visit
it; which is an object of more real importance than can well be
imagined by those who have not had occasion to know how much the
approbation and applause of the public facilitate difficult

The means of uniting the rational amusement of society, with the
furtherance of schemes calculated for the promotion of public
good, is a subject highly deserving the attention of all who are
engaged in public affairs.


Of the means used for extending the influence of the institution
for the poor at Munich, to other parts of Bavaria.
Of the progress which some of the improvements introduced at Munich
are making in other countries.

Though the institution of which I have undertaken to give an account,
was confined to the city of Munich and its suburbs, yet measures
were taken to extend its influence to all parts of the country.
The attempt to put an end to mendicity in the capital, and to
give employment to the Poor, having been completely successful,
this event was formally announced to the public, in the news-papers;
and other towns were called upon to follow the example. Not only
a narrative in detail, was given of all the different measures
pursued in this important undertaking, but every kind of
information and assistance was afforded on the part of the
institution at Munich, to all who might be disposed to engage in
forming similar establishments in other parts of the country.

Copies of all the different lists, returns, certificates, etc.
used in the management of the Poor, were given gratis to all,
strangers as well as inhabitants of the country, who applied for
them; and no information relative to the establishment, or to any
of its details, was ever refused. The house of industry was open
every day from morning till night to all visitors; and persons
were appointed to accompany strangers in their tour through the
different apartments, and to give the fullest information
relative to the details, and even to all the secrets of the
various manufactures carried on; and printed copies of the
different tables, tickets, checks, etc. made use of in carrying
on the current business of the house, were furnished to every one
who asked for them; together with an account of the manner in
which these were used, and of the other measures adopted to
prevent frauds and peculation in the various branches of this
extensive establishment.

As few manufactures in Bavaria are carried on to any extent;
the more indigent of the inhabitants are, in general, so totally
unacquainted with every kind of work in which the Poor could be
most usefully employed, that that circumstance alone is a great
obstacle to the general introduction throughout the country of
the measures adopted in Munich for employing the Poor. To remove
this difficulty, the different towns and communities who are
desirous of forming establishments for giving employment to the
Poor, are invited to send persons properly qualified to the house
of industry at Munich, where they may be taught, gratis, spinning,
in its various branches; knitting; sewing, etc. in order to
qualify them to become instructors to the Poor on their return home.
And even instructors already formed, and possessing all the
requisite qualifications for such an office, are offered to be
furnished by the house of industry in Munich to such communities
as shall apply for them.

Another difficulty, apparently not less weighty than that just
mentioned, but which is more easily and more effectually removed,
is the embarrassment many of the smaller communities are likely
to be under in procuring raw materials, and in selling to
advantage the goods manufactured, or, (as is commonly the case,)
IN PART ONLY MANUFACTURED, by the Poor. The yarn, for instance,
which is spun by them in a country-town or village, far removed
from any manufacture of cloth, may lie on hand a long time before
it can be sold to advantage. To remedy this, the house of
industry at Munich is ordered to furnish raw materials to such
communities as shall apply for them, and receive in return the
goods manufactured, at the full prices paid for the same articles
in Munich. Not only these measures, and many others of a similar
nature, are taken, to facilitate the introduction of industry
among the Poor throughout the country; but every encouragement is
held out to induce individuals to exert themselves in this
laudable undertaking. Those communities which are the first to
follow the example of the capital, are honourably mentioned in
the news-papers; and such individuals as distinguished themselves
by their zeal and activity upon those occasions, are praised and

A worthy curate, (Mr. Lechner,) preacher in one of the churches
in Munich, who, of his own accord, had taken upon himself to
defend the measures adopted with regard to the Poor, and to
recommend them in the most earnest manner from the pulpit,
was sent for by the Elector, into his closet, and thanked for
his exertions.

This transaction being immediately made known, (an account of it
having been published in the news-papers,) tended not a little to
engage the clergy in all parts of the country to exert themselves
in support of the institution.

It is not my intention to insinuate that the clergy in Bavaria
stood in need of any such motive to stimulate them to action in a
cause so important to the happiness and well-being of mankind,
and consequently so nearly connected with the sacred duties of
their office;--on the contrary, I should be wanting in candour,
as well as gratitude, were I not to embrace this opportunity of
expressing publicity, the obligations I feel myself under to them
for their support and assistance.

The number of excellent sermons which have been preached,
in order to recommend the measures adopted by the government for
making provision for the Poor, show how much this useful and
respectable body of men have had it at heart to contribute to the
success of this important measure; and their readiness to
co-operate with me, (a Protestant,) upon all occasions where
their assistance has been asked, not only does honour to the
liberality of their sentiments, but calls for my personal
acknowledgments, and particular thanks.

I shall conclude this Essay with an account of the progress which
some of the improvements introduced at Munich are now making in
other countries. During my late journey in Italy for the
recovery of my health, I visited Verona; and becoming acquainted
with the principal directors of two large and noble hospitals,
la Pieta, and la Misericorde, in that city, the former containing
about 350, and the latter near 500 Poor, I had frequent occasions
to converse with them upon the subject of those establishments,
and to give them an account of the arrangements that had been
made in Munich. I likewise took the liberty of proposing some
improvements, and particularly in regard to the arrangements for
feeding these Poor; and in the management of the fires employed
for cooking. Fire-wood, the only fuel used in that country,
is extremely scarce and dear, and made a very heavy article in
the expences of those institutions.

Though this scarcity of fuel, which had prevailed for ages in
that part of Italy, had rendered it necessary to pay attention to
the economy of fuel, and had occasioned some improvements to be
made in the management of heat; yet I found, upon examining the
kitchens of these two hospitals, and comparing the quantities of
fuel consumed with the quantities of victuals cooked, that
SEVERN-EIGHTHS of the fire-wood they were then consuming might be
saved[15]. Having communicated the result of those enquiries to
the directors of these two hospitals, and offered my service to
alter the kitchens, and arrange them upon the principles of that
in the house of industry at Munich, (which I described to them,)
they accepted my offer, and the kitchens were rebuilt under my
immediate direction; and have both succeeded, even beyond my
most sanguine expectations. That of the hospital of la Pieta is
the most complete kitchen I have ever built; and I would
recommend it as a model, in preference to any I have ever seen.
I shall give a more particular description of it, with plans and
estimates, in my Essay on the Management of Heat.

During the time I was employed in building the new kitchen in the
hospital of la Pieta, I had an opportunity of making myself
acquainted with all the details of the clothing of the Poor
belonging to that establishment; and I found that very great
savings might be made in that article of expence. I made a
proposal to the directors of that hospital, to furnish them with
clothing for their Poor, ready made up, from the house of
industry at Munich; and upon my return to Munich I sent them
TWELVE complete suits of clothing of different sizes as a sample,
and accompanied them with an estimate of the prices at which we
could afford to deliver them at Verona.

The success of this little adventure has been very flattering,
and has opened a very interesting channel for commerce, and for
the encouragement of industry in Bavaria. This sample of
clothing being approved, and, with all the expences of carriage
added, being found to be near TWENTY PER CENT. cheaper than that
formerly used, orders have been received from Italy by the house
of industry at Munich, to a considerable amount, for clothing
the Poor. In the beginning of September last, a few days before
I left Munich to come to England, I had the pleasure to assist in
packing up and sending off, over the Alps, by the Tyrol, SIX
HUNDRED articles of clothing of different kinds for the Poor of
Verona; and hope soon to see the Poor of Bavaria growing rich,
by manufacturing clothing for the Poor of Italy.


Footnotes to Essay I.

This paper, as it could afterwards be made use of for making
cartridges, in fact cost nothing.

A creutzer is 11/33 of an English penny.

Particular local reasons, which it is not necessary here to
explain, have hitherto prevented the establishment of military
gardens in these two garrison towns.

The whole amount of this burden was not more than 30,000 florins,
or about 2721L. sterling a year.

Mons. Dallarmi.

The annual amount of these various receipts may be seen in the
accounts published in the Appendix.

Almost all the great law-givers, and founders of religions, from
the remotest antiquity, seem to have been aware of the influence
of cleanliness upon the moral character of man; and have strongly
inculcated it. In many cases it has been interwoven with the
most solemn rites of public and private worship, and is so still
in many countries. The idea that the soul is defiled and
depraved by every thing UNCLEAN, or which defies the body, has
certainly prevailed in all ages; and has been particularly
attended to by those great benefactors of mankind, who, by the
introduction of PEACE and ORDER in society, have laboured
successfully to promote the happiness of their fellow-creatures.
Order and disorder--peace and war--health and sickness, cannot
exist together; but COMFORT and CONTENTMENT, and the inseparable
companions of HAPPINESS and VIRTUE, can only arise from order,
peace, and health.

Upon this occasion I must not forget to mention a curious
circumstance, which contributed very much towards clearing the
town effectually of beggars. It being found that some of the
most hardened of these vagabonds were attempting to return to
their old practices, and that they found means to escape the
patroles, by keeping a sharp look-out, and avoiding them, to hold
them more effectually in check, the patroles sent out upon this
service were ordered to go without arms. In consequence of this
arrangement, the beggars being no longer able to distinguish who
were in search of them, and who were not, saw a patrole in every
soldier they met with in the streets, (and of these there were
great numbers, Munich being a garrison town,) and from
thenceforward they were kept in awe.

Upon a new division of the town, when the suburbs were included,
the number of subdivisions (abtheilungs) were augmented to twenty

This was written in the summer of the year 1795.

As these children were not shut up and confined like prisoners
in the house of industry, but all lodged in the town, with their
parents or friends, they had many opportunities to recreate
themselves, and take exercise in the open air; not only on
holidays, of which there are a very large number indeed kept in
Bavaria; but also on working-days, in coming and going to and
from the house of industry. Had not this been the case,
a reasonable time would certainly have been allowed them for play
and recreation. The cadets belonging to the Military Academy at
Munich are allowed no less than THREE HOURS a day for exercise
and relaxation, viz ONE HOUR immediately after dinner, which is
devoted to music, and TWO HOURS, later in the afternoon,
for walking in the country, or playing in the open fields near
the town.

Since the publication of the first edition of the Essay,
the Author has received an account of the total destruction of the
Military Work-house at Manheim. It was set on fire, and burnt
to the ground, during the last siege of that city by the Austrian

Above 18,000 pounds sterling.

The committee, at the head of the establishment, has been enabled
to make this purchase, by legacies made to the institution.
These legacies have been numerous, and are increasing every day;
which clearly shows, that the measures adopted with regard to the
Poor have met with the approbation of the public.

I found upon examining the famous kitchen of the great hospital
at Florence, that the waste of fuel there is still greater.


the RELIEF of the POOR may be formed in all Countries.

General View of the Subject.
Deplorable State of those who are reduced to Poverty.
No Body of Laws can be so framed as to provide effectually for
their Wants.
Only adequate Relief that can be afforded them must be derived
from the voluntary Assistance of the Humane and Benevolent,
How that Assistance is to be secured.
Objections to the Expense of taking care of the Poor answered.
Of the Means of introducing a Scheme for the Relief of the Poor.

Of the Extent of an Establishment for the Poor.
Of the Division of a Town or City into Districts.
Of the Manner of carrying on the Business of a public
Establishment for the Poor.
Of the Necessity of numbering all the Houses in a Town where an
Establishment for the Poor is formed.

General Direction of the Affairs of an Institution for the Poor
attended with no great Trouble.
Of the best Method of carrying on the current Business, and of
the great Use of printed Forms, or Blanks.
Of the necessary Qualifications of those who are placed at the
Head of an Establishment for the Relief of the Poor.
Great Importance of this Subject.
Cruelty and Impolicy of putting the Poor into the Hands of
Persons they cannot respect and love.
The Persons pointed out who are more immediately called upon to
come forward with Schemes for the Relief of the Poor, and to
give their active Assistance in carrying them into Effect.

Of the Necessity of effectual Measures for introducing a Spirit
of Industry among the Poor in forming an Establishment for
their Relief and Support.
Of the Means which may be used for that Purpose; and for setting
on foot a Scheme for forming an Establishment for feeding the

Of the Means which may be used by Individuals in affluent
Circumstances for the Relief of the Poor in their Neighbourhood.



General View of the Subject.
Deplorable State of those who are reduced to Poverty.
No Body of Laws can be so framed as to provide efficaciously for
their Wants.
Only adequate Relief that can be afforded them must be derived
from the voluntary Assistance of the Humane and Benevolent.
How that Assistance is to be secured.
Objections to the Expence of taking care of the Poor answered
Of the Means of introducing a Scheme for the Relief of the Poor.

Though the fundamental principles upon which the Establishment
for the Poor at Munich is founded, are such as I can venture to
recommend; and notwithstanding the fullest information relative
to every part of that Establishment may, I believe, be collected
from the account of it which is given in the foregoing Essay;
yet, as this information is so dispersed in different parts of
the work, and so blended with a variety of other particulars,
that the reader would find some difficulty in bringing the whole
into one view, and arranging it systematically in a complete
whole; I shall endeavour briefly to resume the subject, and give
the result of all my enquiries relative to it, in a more concise,
methodical, and useful form: and as from the experience, I have
had in providing for the wants of the Poor, and reclaiming the
indolent and vicious to habits of useful industry, I may venture
to consider myself authorised to speak with some degree of
confidence upon the subject; instead of merely recapitulating
what has been said of the Establishment for the Poor at Munich,
(which would be at best but a tiresome repetition,) I shall now
allow myself a greater range in these investigations, and shall
give my opinions without restraint which may come under
consideration. And though the system I shall propose, is founded
upon the successful experiments made at Munich, as may be seen by
comparing it with the details of that Establishment; yet, as a
difference in the local circumstances under which an operation is
performed, must necessarily require certain modifications of the
plan, I shall endeavour to take due notice of every modification
which may appear to me to be necessary[1].

Before I enter upon those details, it may be proper to take a
more extensive survey of the subject, and investigate the general
and fundamental Principles on which an Establishment for the
Relief of the Poor, in every country, ought to be founded.
At the same time I shall consider the difficulties which are
generally understood to be inseparable from such an undertaking,
and endeavour to show that they are by no means insurmountable.

That degree of poverty which involves in it the inability to
procure the necessaries of life without the charitable assistance
of the Public, is, doubtless, the heaviest of all misfortunes;
as it not only brings along with it the greatest physical evils,
pain,--and disease, but is attended by the most mortifying
humiliation, and hopeless despondency. It is, moreover,
an incurable evil; and is rather irritated than alleviated by the
remedies commonly applied to remove it. The only alleviation,
of which it is capable, must be derived from the kind and soothing
attentions of the truly benevolent. This is the only balm which
can sooth the anguish of a wounded heart, or allay the agitations
of a mind irritated by disappointment, and rendered ferocious by

And hence it evidently appears that no body of laws, however
wisely framed, can, in any country, effectually provide for the
relief of the Poor, without the voluntary assistance of individuals;
for though taxes may be levied by authority of the laws for the
support of the Poor, yet, those kind attentions which are so
necessary in the management of the Poor, as well to reclaim the
vicious, as to comfort and encourage the despondent--those
demonstrations of concern which are always so great a consolation
to persons in distress--cannot be COMMANDED BY FORCE. On the
contrary, every attempt to use FORCE in such cases, seldom fails
to produce consequences directly contrary to those intended[2].

But if the only effectual relief for the distress of the Poor,
and the sovereign remedy for the numerous evils to society which
arise from the prevalence of mendicity, indolence, poverty,
and misery, among the lower classes of society, must be derived
from the charitable and voluntary exertions of individuals;--
as the assistance of the Public cannot be expected, unless the
most unlimited confidence can be placed, not only in the wisdom
of the measures proposed, but also, and MORE ESPECIALLY, in the
appointed to carry them into execution; it is evident that the
first object to be attended to, in forming a plan of providing
for the Poor, is to make such arrangements as will COMMAND THE
CONFIDENCE OF THE PUBLIC, and fix it upon the most solid and
durable foundation.

This can most certainly, and most effectually be done;
first by engaging persons of high rank and
the most respectable character to place themselves
at the head of the Establishment:
secondly, by joining, in the general administration of the
affairs of the Establishment, a certain number of persons chosen
from the middling class of society; reputable tradesmen, in easy
circumstances;--heads of families;--and others of known integrity
and of humane dispositions[3]:
thirdly, by engaging all those who are employed in the
administration of the affairs of the Poor, to serve without fee
or reward:
fourthly, by publishing, at stated periods, such particular and
authentic accounts of all receipts and expenditures, that no
doubt can possibly be entertained by the Public respecting the
proper application of the monies destined for the relief of the
fifthly, by publishing an alphabetical list of all who receive
alms; in which list should be inserted, not only the name of
the person, his age; condition; and place of abode; but also
the amount of the weekly assistance granted to him; in order
that those who entertain any doubts respecting the manner in
which the Poor are provided for, may have the opportunity of
visiting them at their habitations, and making enquiry into
their real situations:
and lastly, the confidence of the Public, and the
continuance of their support, will most effectually be secured
by a prompt and successful execution of the plan adopted.

There is scarcely a greater plague that can infest society, than
swarms of beggars; and the inconveniencies to individuals arising
from them are so generally, and so severely felt, that relief
from so great an evil cannot fail to produce a powerful and
lasting effect upon the minds of the Public, and to engage all
ranks to unite in the support of measures as conducive to the
comfort of individuals, as they are essential to the national
honor and reputation. And even in countries where the Poor do not
make a practice of begging, the knowledge of their sufferings
must be painful to every benevolent mind; and there is no person,
I would hope, so callous to the feelings of humanity, as not to
rejoice most sincerely when effectual relief is afforded.

The greatest difficulty attending the introduction of any measure
founded upon the voluntary support of the Public, for maintaining
the Poor, and putting an end to mendicity, is an opinion
generally entertained, that a very heavy expence would be
indispensably necessary to carry into execution such an
undertaking. But this difficulty may be speedily removed by
showing, (which may easily be done,) that the execution of a
well-arranged plan for providing for the Poor, and giving useful
employment to the idle and indolent, so far from being expensive,
must, in the end, be attended with a very considerable saving,
not only to the Public collectively, but also to individuals.

Those who now extort their subsistence by begging and stealing,
are, in fact, already maintained by the Public. But this is not
all; they are maintained in a manner the most expensive and
troublesome, to themselves and the Public, that can be conceived;
and this may be said of all the Poor in general.

A poor person, who lives in poverty and misery, and merely from
hand to mouth, has not the power of availing himself of any of
those economical arrangements, in procuring the necessaries of life,
which other, in more affluent circumstances, may employ;
and which may be employed with peculiar advantage in a public
Establishment.--Added to this, the greater part of the Poor,
as well those who make a profession of begging, as other who do not,
might be usefully employed in various kinds of labour;
and supposing them, one with another, to be capable of earning
ONLY HALF as much as is necessary to their subsistence,
this would reduce the present expence to the Public for their
maintenance at least one half; and this half might be reduced
still much lower, by a proper attention to order and economy in
providing for their subsistence.

Were the inhabitants of a large town where mendicity is prevalent,
to subscribe only half the sums annually, which are extorted from
them by beggars, I am confident it would be quite sufficient,
with a proper arrangement, for the comfortable support of the
Poor of all denominations.

Not only those who were formerly common street-beggars, but all
others, without exception, who receive alms, in the city of
Munich and its suburbs, amounting at this time to more than 1800
persons, are supported almost entirely by voluntary subscriptions
from the inhabitants; and I have been assured by numbers of the
most opulent and respectable citizens, that the sums annually
extorted from them formerly by beggars alone, exclusive of
private charities, amounted to more than three times the sums now
given by them to the support of the new institution. I insist the
more upon this point, as I know that the great expence which has
been supposed to be indispensably necessary to carry into
execution any scheme for effectually providing for the Poor,
and putting an end to mendicity, has deterred many well-disposed
persons from engaging in so useful an enterprise. I have only to
add my most earnest wishes, that what I have said and done,
may remove every doubt, and re-animate the zeal of the Public,
in a cause in which the dearest interests of humanity are so
nearly concerned.

In almost every public undertaking, which is to be carried into
effect by the united voluntary exertions of individuals, without
the interference of government, there is a degree of awkwardness
in bringing forward the business, which it is difficult to avoid,
and which is frequently not a little embarrassing. This will
doubtless be felt by those who engage in forming and executing
schemes for providing for the Poor by private subscription;
they should not, however, suffer themselves to be discouraged by
a difficulty which may so easily be surmounted.

In the introduction of every scheme for forming an Establishment
for the Poor, whether it be proposed to defray the expense by
voluntary subscriptions, or by a tax levied for the purpose,
it will be proper for the authors or promoters of the measure to
address the Public upon the subject; to inform them of the nature
of the measures proposed;-- of their tendency to promote the
public welfare, and to point out the various ways in which
individuals may give their assistance to render the scheme

There are few cities in Europe, I believe, in which the state of
the Poor would justify such an address as that which was
published at Munich upon taking up the beggars in that town;
but something of the kind; with such alterations as local
circumstances may require, I am persuaded, would in most cases
produce good effects. With regard to the assistance that might
be be given by individuals to carry into effect a scheme for
providing for the Poor, though measures for that purpose may,
and ought to be so taken, that the Public would have little or
no trouble in their execution, yet there are many things which
individuals must be instructed cautiously to avoid; otherwise
the enterprise will be extremely difficult, it not impracticable;
and, above all things, they must be warned against giving alms to

Though nothing would be more unjust and tyrannical, than to
prevent the generous and humane from contributing to the relief of
the Poor and necessitous, yet, as giving alms to beggars tends so
directly and so powerfully to encourage idleness and immorality,
to discourage the industrious Poor, and perpetuate mendicity,
with all its attendant evils, too much pains cannot be taken to
guard the Public against a practice so fatal in its consequences
to society.

All who are desirous of contributing to the relief of the Poor,
should be invited to send their charitable donations to be
distributed by those who, being at the head of a public
Institution established for taking care of the Poor, must be
supposed best acquainted with their wants. Or, if individuals
should prefer distributing their own charities, they ought at
least to take the trouble to enquire after fit objects; and to
apply their donations in such a manner as not to counteract the
measures of a public and useful Establishment.

But, before I enter farther into these details, it will be
necessary to determine the proper extent and limits of an
Establishment for the Poor; and show how a town or city ought to
be divided in districts, in order to facilitate the purposes of
such an institution.

Of the Extent of an Establishment for the Poor.
Of the Division of a Town or City into Districts.
Of the Manner of carrying on the Business of a public
Establishment for the Poor.
Of the Necessity of numbering all the Houses in a Town where an
Establishment for the Poor is formed.

However large a city may be, in which an Establishment for the
Poor is to be formed, I am clearly of opinion, that there should
be but ONE ESTABLISHMENT;--with ONE committee for the general
management of all its affairs;--and ONE treasurer. This unity
appears essentially necessary, not only because, when all the
parts tend to one common centre, and act in union to the same
end, under one direction, they are less liable to be impeded in
their operations, or disordered by collision;--but also on
misery and poverty, in the different districts of the same town.
Some parishes in great cities have comparatively few Poor,
while others, perhaps less opulent, are overburthened with them;
and there seems to be no good reason why a house-keeper in any town
should be called upon to pay more or less for the support of the
Poor, because he happens to live on one side of a street or the
other. Added to this, there are certain districts in most great
towns where poverty and misery seem to have fixed their
head-quarters, and where it would be IMPOSSIBLE for the
inhabitants to support the expence of maintaining their Poor.
Where that is the case, as measures for preventing mendicity in
every town must be general, in order to their being successful,
the enterprise, FROM THAT CIRCUMSTANCE ALONE, would be rendered
impracticable, were the assistance of the more opulent districts
to be refused.

There is a district, for instance, belonging to Munich, (the Au,)
a very large parish, which may be called the St. Giles's of that
city, where the alms annually received are TWENTY TIMES as much
as the whole district contributes to the funds of the public
Institution for the Poor.--The inhabitants of the other parishes,
however, have never considered it a hardship to them, that the
Poor of the Au should be admitted to share the public bounty, in
common with the Poor of the other parishes.

Every town must be divided, according to its extent, into a
greater or less number of districts, or subdivisions; and each of
these must have a committee of inspection, or rather a commissary,
with assistants, who must be entrusted with the superintendance
and management of all affairs relative to the relief and support
of the Poor within its limits.

In very large cities, as the details of a general Establishment
for the Poor would be very numerous and extensive, it would
probably facilitate the management of the affairs of the
Establishment, if, beside the smallest subdivisions or districts,
there could be formed other larger divisions, composed of a
certain number of districts, and put under the direction of
particular committees.

The most natural, and perhaps the most convenient method of
dividing a large city or town, for the purpose of introducing a
general Establishment for the Poor, would be, to form of the
parishes the primary divisions; and to divide each parish into so
many subdivisions, or districts, as that each district may
consist of from 3000 to 4000 inhabitants. Though the immediate
inspection and general superintendance of the affairs of each
parish were to be left to its own particular committee, yet the
supreme committee at the head of the general Institution should
not only exercise a controlling power over the parochial
committees, but these last should not be empowered to levy money
upon the parishioners, by setting on foot voluntary subscriptions,
or otherwise; or to dispose of any sums belonging to the general
Institution, except in cases of urgent necessity;--nor should
they be permitted to introduce any new arrangements with respect
to the management of the Poor, without the approbation and
consent of the supreme committee: the most perfect uniformity in
the mode of treating the Poor, and transacting all public
business relative to the Institution, being indispensably
necessary to secure success to the undertaking, and fix the
Establishment upon a firm and durable foundation.

For the same reasons, all monies collected in the parishes should
not be received and disposed of by their particular committees,
but ought to be paid into the public treasury of the Institution,
and carried to the general account of receipts;--and, in like
manner, the sums necessary for the support of the Poor in each
parish should be furnished from the general treasury, on the
orders of the supreme committee.

With regard to the applications of individuals in distress for
assistance, all such applications ought to be made through the
commissary of the district to the parochial committee;--and where
the necessity is not urgent, and particularly where permanent
assistance is required, the demand should be referred by the
parochial committee to the supreme committee, for their decision.
In cases of urgent necessity, the parochial committees, and even
the commissaries of districts, should be authorized to administer
relief, ex officio, and without delay; for which purpose they
should be furnished with certain sums in advance, to be afterwards
accounted for by them.

That the supreme committee may be exactly informed of the real
state of those in distress who apply for relief, every petition,
forwarded by a parochial committee, or by a commissary of a
district, where there are no parochial committees, should be
accompanied with an exact and detailed account of the
circumstances of the petitioner, signed by the commissary of the
district to which he belongs, together with the amount of the
weekly sum, or other relief, which such commissary may deem
necessary for the support of the petitioner.

To save the commissaries of districts the trouble of writing the
descriptions of the Poor who apply for assistance, printed forms,
similar to that which may been seen in the Appendix, No. V. may
be furnished to them;--and other printed forms, of a like nature,
may be introduced with great advantage in many other cafes in the
management of the Poor.

With regard to the manner in which the supreme and parochial
committees should be formed;-- however they may be composed,
it will be indispensably requisite, for the preservation of order
and harmony in all the different parts of the Establishment,
that one member at least of each parochial committee be present,
and have a seat, and voice, as a member of the supreme committee.
And, that all the members of each parochial committee may be
equally well informed with regard to the general affairs of the
Establishment, it may perhaps be proper that those members
attended the meetings of the supreme committee in rotation.

For similar reasons it may be proper to invite the commissaries
of districts to be present in rotation at the meetings of the
committees of their respective parishes, where there are
parochial committees established, or otherwise, at the meetings
of the supreme committee[4].

It is, however, only in very large cities that I would recommend
the forming parochial committees. In all towns where the
inhabitants do not amount to more than 100,000 souls, I am
clearly of opinion that it would be best merely to divide the
town into districts, without regard to the limits of parishes;
and to direct all the affairs of the institution by one simple
committee. This mode was adopted at Munich, and found to be easy
in practice, and successful; and it is not without some degree of
diffidence, I own, that I have ventured to propose a deviation
from a plan, which has not yet been justified by experience.

But however a town may be divided into districts, it will be
absolutely necessary that ALL the houses be regularly numbered,
and an accurate list made out of all the persons who inhabit
them. The propriety of this measure is too apparent to require
any particular explanation. It is one of the very first steps
that ought to be taken in carrying into execution any plan for
forming an Establishment for the Poor; it being as necessary to
know the names and places of abode of those, who, by voluntary
subscription, or otherwise, assist in relieving the Poor, as to
be acquainted with the dwellings of the objects themselves; and
this measure is as indispensable necessary when an institution
for the Poor is formed in a small country-town or village, as
when it is formed in the largest capital.

In many cases, it is probable, the established laws of the country
in which an institution for the Poor may be formed, and certain
usages, the influence of which may perhaps be still more powerful
than the laws, may render modifications necessary, which it is
utterly impossible for me to foresee; still the great fundamental
principles upon which every sensible plan for such an
Establishment must be founded, appear to me to be certain and
immutable; and when rightly understood, there can be no great
difficulty in accommodating the plan to all those particular
circumstances under which it may be carried into execution,
without making any essential alteration.


General Direction of the Affairs of an Institution for
the Poor attended with no great Trouble.
Of the best Method of carrying on the current Business,
and the great Use of printed Forms, or Blanks.
Of the necessary qualifications of those who are placed at the
Head of an Establishment for the Relief of the Poor.
Great Importance of this Subject.
Cruelty and Impolicy of putting the Poor into the Hands of
Persons they cannot respect and love.
The Persons pointed out who are more immediately called upon to
come forward with Schemes for the Relief of the Poor, and to
give their active Assistance in carrying them into Effect.

Whatever the number of districts into which a city is divided,
may be, or the number of committees employed in the management of
a public Establishment for the relief of the Poor, it is
indispensably necessary that all individuals who are employed in
the undertaking be persons of known integrity;--for courage is
not more necessary in the character of a general, than unshaken
integrity in the character of a governor of a public charity.
I insist the more upon this point as the whole scheme is founded
upon the voluntary assistance of individuals, and therefore to
ensure its success the most unlimited confidence of the public
must be reposed in those who are to carry it into execution;
besides, I may add, that the manner in which the funds of the
various public Establishments for the relief of the Poor already
instituted have been commonly been administered in most countries,
does not tend to render superfluous the precautions I propose for
securing the confidence of the public.

The preceding observations respecting the importance of
employing none but persons of known integrity at the head of an
institution for the relief of the Poor, relates chiefly to the
necessity of encouraging people in affluent circumstances, and
the public at large, to unite in the support of such an
Establishment.--There is also another reason, perhaps equally
important, which renders it expedient to employ persons of the
most respectable character in the details of an institution of
public charity,--the good effects such a choice must have upon
the minds and morals of the Poor.

Persons who are reduced to indigent circumstances, and become
objects of public charity, come under the direction of those who
are appointed to take care of them with minds weakened by adversity,
and soured by disappointment; and finding themselves separated
from the rest of mankind, and cut off from all hope of seeing
better days, they naturally grow peevish, and discontented,
suspicious of those set over them, and of one another; and the
kindest treatment, and most careful attention to every
circumstance that can render their situation supportable,
are therefore required, to prevent their being very unhappy.
And nothing surely can contribute more powerfully to soothe the
minds of persons in such unfortunate and hopeless circumstances,
than to find themselves under the care and protection of persons
of gentle manners;--humane dispositions;--and known probity and
integrity; such as even THEY,--with all their suspicions about
them, may venture to love and respect,

Whoever has taken the pains to investigate the nature of the
human mind, and examine attentively those circumstances upon
which human happiness depends, must know how necessary it is to
happiness, that the mind should have some object upon which to
place its more tender affections--something to love,--to cherish,
--to esteem,--to respect,--and to venerate; and these resources
are never so necessary as in the hour of adversity and
discouragement, where no ray of hope is left to cheer the
prospect, and stimulate to fresh exertion.

The lot of the Poor, particularly of those who, from easy
circumstances and a reputable station in society, are reduced by
misfortunes, or oppression, to become a burthen on the Public,
is truly deplorable, after all that can be done for them:--
and were we seriously to consider their situation, I am sure we
should think that we could never do too much to alleviate their
sufferings, and soothe the anguish of wounds which can never be

For the common misfortunes of life, HOPE is a sovereign remedy.
But what remedy can be applied to evils, which involve even the
loss of hope itself? and what can those have to hope, who are
separated and cut off from society, and for ever excluded from
all share in the affairs of men? To them, honours;--distinctions;
--praise;--and even property itself;--all those objects of
laudable ambition which so powerfully excite the activity of man
in civil society, and contribute so essentially to happiness,
by filling the mind with pleasing prospects of future enjoyments,
are but empty names; or rather, they are subjects of
never-ceasing regret and discontent.

That gloom must indeed be dreadful, which overspreads the mind,
when HOPE, that bright luminary of the soul, which enlightens and
cheers it, and excites and calls forth into action all its best
faculties, has disappeared!

There are many, it is true, who, from their indolence or
extravagance, or other vicious habits, fall into poverty and
distress, and become a burthen on the public, who are so vile and
degenerate as not to feel the wretchedness of their situation.
But these are miserable objects, which the truly benevolent will
regard with an eye of peculiar compassion;--they must be very
unhappy, for they are very vicious; and nothing should be
omitted, that can tend to reclaim them;--but nothing will tend so
powerfully to reform them, as kind usage from the hands of
persons they must learn to love and to respect at the same time.

If I am too prolix upon this head, I am sorry for it. It is a
strong conviction of the great importance of the subject, which
carries me away, and makes me, perhaps, tiresome, where I would
wish most to avoid it. The care of the Poor, however, I must
consider as a matter of very serious importance. It appears to me
to be one of the most sacred duties imposed upon men in a state
of civil society;--one of those duties imposed immediately by
the hand of God himself, and of which the neglect never goes

What I have said respecting the necessary qualifications of those
employed in taking care of the Poor, I hope will not deter
well-disposed persons, who are willing to assist in so useful an
undertaking, from coming forward with propositions for the
institution of public Establishments for that purpose; or from
offering themselves candidates for employments in the management
of such Establishments. The qualifications pointed out, integrity,
and a gentle and humane disposition,--honesty, and a good heart;--
are such as any one may boldly lay claim to, without fear of
being taxed with vanity or ostentation.--And if individuals in
private stations, on any occasion are called upon to lay aside
their bashfulness and modest dissidence, and come forward into
public view, it must surely be, when by their exertions they can
essentially contribute to promote measures which are calculated
to increase the happiness and prosperity of society.

It is a vulgar saying, that, what is everybody's business, is
nobody's business; and it is very certain that many schemes,
evidently intended for the public good, have been neglected,
merely because nobody could be prevailed on to stand forward and
be the first to adopt them. This doubtless has been the case in
regard to many judicious and well arranged proposals for
providing for the Poor; and will probably be so again. I shall
endeavour, however, to show, that though in undertakings in which
the general welfare of society is concerned, persons of all ranks
and conditions are called upon to give them their support, yet,
in the INTRODUCTION of such measures as are here recommended,--
a scheme of providing for the Poor,--there are many who, by their
rank and peculiar situations, are clearly pointed out as the most
proper to take up the business at its commencement, and bring it
forward to maturity; as well as to take an active part in the
direction and management of such an institution after it has been
established: and it appears to me, that the nature and the end of
the undertaking evidently point out the persons who are more
particularly called upon to set an example on such an occasion.

If the care of the Poor be an object of great national importance,
--if it be inseparably connected with the peace and tranquillity
of society, and with the glory and prosperity of the state;--
if the advantages which individuals share in the public welfare
are in proportion to the capital they have at stake in this great
national fund--that is to say, in proportion to their rank,
property, and connexions, or general influence;--as it is just
that every one should contribute in proportion to the advantages
he receives; it is evident who ought to be the first to come
forward upon such an occasion.

But it is not merely on account of the superior interest they
have in the public welfare, that persons of high rank and great
property, and such as occupy places of importance in the
government, are bound to support measures calculated to relieve
the distresses of the Poor;--there is still another circumstance
which renders it indispensably necessary that they should take an
active part in such measures, and that is, the influence which
their example must have upon others.

It is impossible to prevent the bulk of mankind from being swayed
by the example of those to whom they are taught to look up as
their superiors; it behoves, therefore, all who enjoy such high
privileges, to employ all the influence which their rank and
fortune give them, to promote the public good. And this may
justly be considered as a duty of a peculiar kind;--a PERSONAL
service attached to the station they hold in society, and which
cannot be commuted.

But if the obligations which persons of rank and property are
under, to support measures designed for the relief of the Poor,
are so binding, how much more so must they be upon those who have
taken upon themselves the sacred office of public teachers of
virtue and morality;--the Ministers of a most holy religion;--
a religion whose first precepts inculcate charity and universal
benevolence, and whose great object is, unquestionably,
the peace, order, and happiness of society.

If there be any whose peculiar province it is to seek for objects
in distress and want, and administer to them relief;--if there be
any who are bound by the indispensable duties of their profession
to encourage by every means in their power, and more especially
by EXAMPLE, the general practice of charity; it is, doubtless,
the Ministers of the gospel. And such is their influence in
society, arising from the nature of their office, that their
example is a matter of VERY SERIOUS IMPORTANCE.

Little persuasion, I should hope, would be necessary to induce
the clergy, in any country, to give their cordial and active
assistance in relieving the distresses of the Poor, and providing
for their comfort and happiness, by introducing order and useful
industry among them.

Another class of men, who from the station they hold in society,
and their knowledge of the laws of the country, may be highly
useful in carrying into effect such an undertaking, are the civil
magistrates; and, however a committee for the government and
direction of an Establishment for the Poor may in other respects
be composed, I am clearly of opinion, that the Chief Magistrate
of the town, or city, where such an Establishment is formed,
ought always to be one of its members. The Clergyman of the
place who is highest in rank or dignity ought, likewise, to be
another; and if he be a Bishop, or Archbishop, his assistance is
the more indispensable.

But as persons who hold offices of great trust and importance in
the church, as well as under the civil government, may be so much
engaged in the duties of their stations, as not to have
sufficient leisure to attend to other matters; it may be
necessary, when such distinguished persons lend their assistance
in the management of an Establishment for the relief of the Poor,
that each of them be permitted to bring with them a person of his
own choice into the committee, to assist him in the business.
The Bishop, for instance, may bring his chaplain;--the Magistrate,
his clerk;--the Nobleman, or private gentleman, his son,
or friend, etc. But in small towns, of two or three parishes,
and particularly in country-towns and villages, which do not
consist of more than one or two parishes, as the details in the
management of the affairs of the Poor in such communities cannot
be extensive, the members of the committee may manage the
business without assistants. And indeed in all cases, even in
great cities, when a general Establishment for the Poor is formed
upon a good plan, the details of the executive and more laborious
parts of the management of it will be so divided among the
commissaries of the districts, that the members of the supreme
committee will have little more to do than just hold the reins,
and direct the movement of the machine. Care must however be
taken to preserve the most perfect uniformity in the motions of
all its parts, otherwise confusion must ensue; hence the
necessity of directing the whole from one center.

As the inspection of the Poor;--the care of them when they are
sick;--the distribution of the sums granted in alms for their
support;--the furnishing them with clothes;--and the collection
of the voluntary subscriptions of the inhabitants,--will be
performed by the commissaries of the districts, and their
assistants;--and as all the details relative to giving employment
to the Poor, and feeding them, may be managed by particular
subordinate committees, appointed for those purposes, the current
business of the supreme committee will amount to little more than
the exercise of a general superintendance.

This committee, it is true, must determine upon all demands from
the Poor who apply for assistance; but as every such demand will
be accompanied with the most particular account of the
circumstances of the petitioner, and the nature and amount of
assistance necessary to his relief, certified by the commissary
of the district in which the petitioner resides,--and also by
the parochial committee, where such are established,--the matter
will be so prepared and digested, that the members of the supreme
committee will have very little trouble to decide on the merits
of the case, and the assistance to be granted.

This assistance will consist--in a certain sum to be given WEEKLY
in alms to the petitioner, by the commissary of the district, out
of the funds of the Institution;--in an allowance of bread
only;--in a present of certain articles of clothing, which will
be specified;--or, perhaps, merely in an order for being
furnished with wood, clothing, or fuel, from the public kitchens
or magazines of the Establishment, AT THE PRIME COST of those
articles, AS AN ASSISTANCE to the petitioner, and to prevent the

The manner last mentioned of assisting the Poor,--that of
furnishing them with the necessaries of life at lower prices than
those at which they are sold in the public markets, is a matter
of such importance, that I shall take occasion to treat of it
more fully hereafter.

With respect to the petitions presented to the committee;--
whatever be the assistance demanded, the petition received ought
to be accompanied by a duplicate; to the end that, the decision
of the committee being entered upon the duplicate, as well as
upon the original, and the duplicate sent back to the commissary
of the district, the business may be finished with the least
trouble possible; and even without the necessary of any more
formal order relative to the matter being given by the committee.

I have already mentioned the great utility of PRINTED FORMS,
for petitions, returns, etc. in carrying on the business of an
Establishment for the Poor, and I would again most earnestly
recommend the general use of them. Those who have not had
experience in such matters, can have no idea how much they
contribute to preserve order, and facilitate and expedite
business. To the general introduction of them in the management
of the affairs of the Institution for the Poor at Munich, I
attribute, more than to any thing else, the perfect order which
has continued to reign throughout every part of that extensive
Establishment, from its first existence to the present moment.

In carrying on the business of that Establishment, printed forms
or blanks are used, not only for petitions;--returns;--lists of
the Poor;-- descriptions of the Poor;--lists of the inhabitants;
--lists of subscribers to the support of the Poor;--orders upon
the banker or treasurer of the Institution;--but also for the
reports of the monthly collections made by the commissaries of
districts;--the accounts sent in by the commissaries, of the
extraordinary expences incurred in affording assistance to those
who stand in need of immediate relief;--the banker's receipts;
--and even the books in which are kept the accounts of the
receipts and expenditures of the Establishment.

In regard to the proper forms for these blanks; as they must
depend, in a great measure, upon local circumstances, no general
directions can be given, other than, in all cases, the shortest
forms that can be drawn up, consistent with perspicuity, are
recommended; and that the subject-matter of each particular or
single return, may be so disposed as to be easily transferred to
such general tables, or general accounts, as the nature of the
return and other circumstances may require. Care should likewise
be taken to make them of such a form, SHAPE and dimension, that
they may be regularly folded up, and docketed, in order to their
being preserved among the public records of the Institution.


Of the Necessity of effectual Measures for introducing a Spirit
of Industry among the Poor in forming an Establishment for
their Relief and Support.
Of the Means which may be used for that Purpose; and for setting
on foot a Scheme for forming an Establishment for feeding the

An object of the very first importance in forming an Establishment
for the relief and support of the Poor, is to take effectual
measures for introducing a spirit of industry among them; for it
is most certain, that all sums of money, or other assistance,
given to the Poor in alms, which do not tend to make them
industrious, never can fail to have a contrary tendency, and to
operate as an encouragement to idleness and immorality.

And as the merit of an action is to be determined by the good it
produces, the charity of a nation ought not to be estimated by
the millions which are paid in Poor's taxes, but by the pains
which are taken to see that the sums raised are properly applied.

As the providing useful employment for the Poor, and rendering
them industrious, is, and ever has been, a great DESIDERATUM in
political economy, it may be proper to enlarge a little here,
upon that interesting subject.

The great mistake committed in most of the attempts which have
been made to introduce a spirit of industry, where habits of
idleness have prevailed, has been the too frequent and improper
use of coercive measures, by which the persons to be reclaimed
have commonly been offended and thoroughly disgusted at the very
out-set.--Force will not do it.--Address, not force, must be used
on those occasions.

The children in the house of industry at Munich, who, being
placed upon elevated seats round the halls where other children
worked, were made to be idle spectators of that amusing scene,
cried most bitterly when their request to be permitted to descend
from their places, and mix in that busy crowd, was refused;--but
they would, most probably, have cried still more, had they been
taken abruptly from their play and FORCED to work.

"Men are but children of a larger growth;"-- and those who
undertake to direct them, ought ever to bear in mind that
important truth.

That impatience of control, and jealousy and obstinate
perseverance in maintaining the rights of personal liberty and
independence, which so strongly mark the human character in all
the stages of life, must be managed with great caution and
address, by those who are desirous of doing good;--or, indeed,
of doing any thing effectually with mankind.

It has often been said, that the Poor are vicious and profligate,
and that THEREFORE nothing but force will answer to make them
obedient, and keep them in order;--but, I should say, that
BECAUSE the Poor are vicious and profligate, it is so much the
more necessary to avoid the appearance of force in the management
of them, to prevent their becoming rebellious and incorrigible.

Those who are employed to take up and tame the wild horses
belonging to the Elector Palatine, which are bred in the forest
near Dusseldorf, never use force in reclaiming that noble animal,
and making him docile and obedient. They begin with making a
great circuit, in order to approach him; and rather decoy than
force him into the situation in which they wish to bring him, and
ever afterwards treat him with the greatest kindness; it having
been found by experience, that ill-usage seldom fails to make him
"a man-hater," untameable, and incorrigibly vicious.--It may,
perhaps, be thought fanciful and trifling, but the fact really
is, that an attention to the means used by these people to gain
the confidence of those animals, and teach them to like their
keepers, their stables, and their mangers, suggested to me many
ideas which I afterwards put in execution with great success, in
reclaiming those abandoned and ferocious animals in human shape,
which I undertook to tame and render gentle and docile.

It is however necessary in every attempt to introduce a spirit of
order and industry among the idle and profligate, not merely to
avoid all harsh and offensive treatment, which, as has already
been observed, could only serve to irritate them and render them
still more vicious and obstinate, but it is also indispensably
necessary to do every thing that can be devised to encourage and
reward every symptom of reformation.

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